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  3. Contract Spending FAQs

Contract Spending FAQs

What is the authoritative source of the contracts data on Pandemic.oversight.gov?

The authoritative source for the contracts data is the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).

How often is the data updated on FPDS?

Per the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, agencies are required to report to FPDS on their contract awards within 30 days of making the award. The Department of Defense, however, has a 90 day reporting delay to protect operations.

How often is the contract data on Pandemic.oversight.gov updated?

The contracts data is updated on Pandemic.oversight.gov every Tuesday by 5:00 P.M. EDT.

Have all the contract awards on Pandemic.oversight.gov been funded by Pandemic legislation?

Some of the contracts were originally funded prior to the passage of the 2020 Pandemic legislation.  For example, when downloading the Datasheet, there are awards with effective dates before 2020.  The contract data on Pandemic displays modifications that are in response to COVID, but not necessarily funded by the Pandemic legislation.

How do I find total dollar amounts by congressional district?

To find the total dollar amounts by congressional district, download the data set.

  • Column AF- Congressional District - Place of Performance
  • Column AG – Principal Place of Performance State Code
  • Column FJ - Action Obligation (Dollar amounts)

You can then total the Action Obligation amounts for the particular congressional district.

Do Pandemic.oversight.gov contract data field headers differ from those on USAspending.gov?

In some instances, the FPDS contract data field headers displayed on Pandemic.oversight.gov are different from the standardized data field headers on USAspending.gov.  The data values within the fields are the same on both. For a crosswalk between USAspending.gov and FPDS data fields, see the Data Dictionary on USAspending.gov.

Why are there negative dollar or $0 amounts?

There are many reasons why modifications to an award may display negative or zero amounts. Several of them are:

Negative Amounts:

The agency may reduce or rescind (de-obligate) a portion of the original award amount which is indicated by a negative number.  For example, the original contract award was for $2M, but six months into the contract the agency changes the scope of work to less than the original and de-obligates $500,000, resulting in a modification with -$500,000.

The contract may have been completed but not all the original funding was used, resulting in a negative number when the agency closes the contract. For example, the original contract award was for $2M but at the end of the contract only $1.5M was used; when the agency closes the contract a -$500,000 will be displayed in the final modification.

Zero Amounts

Changes made to an award for administrative reasons are reported as $0. For example, a change in the recipient’s address or the project’s description are reporting as $0 in the Action Obligation field.

When an award has been completed and all the funds expended, the close-out modification is $0.

Also, $0 will be reported when awards are made subject to the availability of funds, meaning funding will happen later. 

Certain contract types will also show $0 when funding happens later through task orders.

Why are the territories not displayed on the map?

Data on the territories is available in the downloadable dataset and will be displayed on the map in the future.

Can I download all the contract data?

Yes, click on the Contracts Datasheet blue button at the bottom of the table.  

What is a modification?

A modification identifies a specific change being made to the initial award.

Why are all the modifications for a contract award not on Pandemic.oversight.gov?

All the modifications for a contract award may not be displayed because Pandemic.oversight.gov only displays awards and award modifications related specifically to COVID-19 funding. For example, modification 03 is displayed on Pandemic.oversight.gov because the funds are COVID-19 related, whereas modifications 01 and 02 were not funded by COVID-19 money.

How do I see contract documents for specific awards?

Generally, contract documents are not available for public display due to the possible proprietary information contained in the documents; however, interested parties can seek contract documents from the awarding agency through a Freedom of Information Act request.

What is a primary place of performance?

For contracts, the primary place of performance is the state, county, congressional district, or zip code where the product or service is purchased or manufactured or where the service is predominantly performed.  For example, in the aftermath of a hurricane, there will be primary places of performance outside the disaster area because entities outside the disaster area have been contracted to come into the disaster area and perform cleanup services.

How do I see the definitions for the specific fields?

Definitions for the specific fields can be found in the Data Dictionary on USAspending.gov and the Data Dictionary on FPDS.